School fees will be payable for all 457 visa holders in Australia

by Ray Clancy on September 29, 2016

in Education in Australia

From January all people working in Australia on a 457 visa with school age children will be required to pay school fees.

South Australia will become the last state to end free schooling in state schools for 457 visa holders. The visa is one of the most common for overseas workers and allows them to work in the country on a temporary basis for up to four years.

School-ChildrenOne by one each state in Australia has decided to ask 457 visa holders to contribute to the cost of the education of their children. With the decision by South Australia to introduce fees, it means that all states now require the payment.

The new rule will come into force in South Australia for newly arrived families from January 2017 and for all 457 visa holders from January 2018, the State Government confirmed.

Parents will be asked to contribute $5,100 per primary pupil and $6,100 for high school pupils with the first child paying the full amount and a 10% discount for each sibling.

A South Australia Government spokesman said that the amount payable would be based on family circumstances and payment would be made when a child or young person is enrolled in a government school.

A means test would be used so that a family with one child at school would not pay the full contribution rate until the gross family income reaches $77,000. The threshold at which maximum fees are payable is increased by $10,000 for each additional child. For example, a family with three school aged children would not pay full fees unless gross family income is $97,000 per year or more.

The spokesman explained that various payment plans will be offered, including an annual upfront payment per semester or regular monthly instalments with the fees being collected by the school and a full or partial waiver of fees for exceptional cases of hardship would be available.

‘If you are on a 457 visa and become a permanent resident, you would no longer have to pay the contribution. You would need to provide evidence to the department so that your new residency status can be registered,’ the spokesman added.

The 457 visa is the most commonly used programme for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in Australia temporarily and they can be employed for up to four years and bring any eligible family members who have unrestricted work and study rights in Australia.

Previously, 457 visa holders whose children attend South Australian government schools have only been required to pay the materials and services charge set by their child’s school. A worker is not entitled to a 457 visa if their gross annual income payable is less than $53,900.

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